Thursday, March 02, 2006

Contracting Reform, Take Three

Ignoring Gov. Rell's threat of a veto, legislative Democrats have passed the third version of a contracting reform bill. This bill has removed some of the language Rell and Republicans disapproved of, but the GOP still feels that the restrictions placed on privatization of state services are "antibusiness."

"Gov. Rell is extremely frustrated that, for the third time, the House and Senate majority leadership gave in to special interests and voted for a bill that would severely hamper the way the state conducts business and dramatically increase the cost to taxpayers of doing business," [Rell spokesman Judd] Everhart said. "This bill totally eliminates any flexibility the state has in awarding contracts - completely tying the hands of the governor. Private companies - snowplow operators, landscapers, security guards, janitorial services - would be effectively excluded from bidding on state business, which impacts thousands of jobs."
...
"There shouldn't be any excuses now," House Speaker James Amann said after the vote. "It seems like Lucy and Charlie Brown. Every time Charlie Brown's ready to kick the football ... the ball gets moved. I think we've done exactly what she's asked us to do, and now we need her signature. Quite frankly, it just gets tiresome. We hope the governor will sign this. We can move on. That's why we did it early in the session - to get this out of the way." (Keating)

Republicans accuse Democrats of giving in to state employee unions. Democrats accuse Republicans of being obstructionists and hypocrites.

What really seems to bother Rell here, and this is what bothered her last year, is that the bill ties her hands. Rell has resisted bills that have in some way infringed upon the power of the executive, which she guards jealously. Her list of vetoes from last session demonstrates her willingness to veto bills that she felt stepped on her toes. What we're seeing, then, is less an ideological struggle (although there is certainly ideology involved) than a tug-of-war for power in Connecticut.

That's a contest Rell seems determined to win. Expect her to veto the bill, and provoke an uproar from her opponents, sometime later this week.

Source

Keating, Christopher. "Contract Reform Pressure On Rell." Hartford Courant 2 March, 2006.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ward retires and you don't have anything??

Genghis Conn said...

Later today, anonymous. Also check the open forum for a discussion of Ward.

Anonymous said...

Is there a breakdown of the yeas and nays?

Rick Melita said...

In the senate- all democrats voted for the bill in addition to Republicans Tony Guglielmo and John Kissell.

In the house all but 11 ( mostly the moderates Democrats ) democrats voted for the bill and 1 R Diane Urban voted for the bill.

Rick Melita said...

All democrats in the senate voted for the bill in addition 2 R's supported it ( Tony Guglielmo and John Kissell). In the House all but 11 Democrats ( mostly conservative Democrats) voted for the bill and 1 R Diane Urban voted for the bill

Anonymous said...

Genghis... sorry... jumped the gun... i'm new at this.

bluecoat said...

This is the way Rell works. She is very deliberative and learns as she goes along on what is the best way to govern and she rarely acknowledges changing positions and why as it would be a sign of weakness. Unfortunately, for both sides of the aisle in the assembly, that can be frustrating. Both sides would do well to hire an industrial psychiatrist to understand her strange ways.

Anonymous said...

Bringing this thing to a vote shows the utter lack of political acumen on the part of Amman and Williams. It's simply a sop to the unions, and gives Rell another beautiful position as the defender of the public. (Whether you agree or not with that perception, that's the perception that's out there!) Even the Courant agrees with her. It may fire up JDS and DM's troops, but they're gonna find no one following them in the general election.

bluecoat said...

And Genghis, looking at the list of vetoes reminds me of how dumb the legislative leaders are about their power and responsibilities. They try to pass bills that tell the executive what to do when all they have to do is hold hearings and ask them what they are doing and comment to the public about it.

Great post.

MightyMouse1 said...

I hate the state legislative website, it is so impossible to navigate. I wanted to pull up the votes on this Bill and I am struggling. Anyone able to link the house and senate votes?

Anonymous said...

The State Legislative website is for insiders only. You have to have the bill #'s to look anything up, and god help you in trying to find them.

It took me 45 minutes plus to research the Senate and House votes on civil unions. A real disgrace.

Who is responsible for the site? Bysiewicz?

Franks said...

Wasn't it just last month that Kevin Sullivan pointed out how the privatization of the State Police vehicle fleet service was costing/wasting $50,000 a month, parking news unequipted cruisers in Colchester.

The privatization cost/benefit review would out many more bad deals.

Anonymous said...

So which one is it, Rick, are they conservative or moderate?

Quite a change in two minutes.

Do you think there are any other reasons that these D's would have voted against this bill other than the proposed state's standards board wage and benefit protection for non-profits?

Jimmy Hoffa said...

How about the Democrats raise a bill that says we must turn over every dollar we make to the Unions. At least then we would be able to appreciate their honesty.

Anonymous said...

So the republicans tried to tack on an eminent domain amendment? Good for them. If it had passed it might have forced Rell to sign the thing. I assume we will never see a fix on the Kelo/New London issue brought out by leadership.

bluecoat said...

Sullivan pointed out that the cruiser fleet was poorly mangaed but when it was pointed out that the fleet was twice as big as it needed to be because the Trooopers all get a sweet ride courtesy of the taxpayer, he pulled the post saying he doesn't post archives.